I was sad to be leaving Redondo Beach…nice area, good anchorage, welcoming yacht club and nearby friends. In fact, we’d had a nice evening Sunday night with our friends on “Navigo” and “Way She Goes” playing Mexican Train dominoes. Although not in a hurry anymore, we knew it was time to head further south on our trip towards San Diego. So (Oct 4th) we boarded the dinghy on the bow and raised our anchors and motored out of King Harbor.
Navigo and WSG had left about an hour before us and radioed that they’d seen blue whales just off the point leading out of the harbor. We kept our eyes peeled and sure enough, amid a flurry of seagulls and pelicans and other such poopers we saw a couple of blowhole sprays and the whales rising just above the surface of the water. I tired desperately to get a good picture or video of the whales but 1) I’m on a moving boat, so even if I hold the camera steady, I’M not steady, and 2) I WANTED TO WATCH THE WHALES MYSELF. :-p Anyway, tried to post the whale videos to YouTube yesterday and our WiFi is TOO slow so I’ll have to try again some other time. But photos are up on Flickr (just click on one of the Flickr photos on the right column).
This may have been the coolest moment of our trip so far. So beautiful.
While Navigo and WSG were heading to Catalina Island, Dave and I decided, due to a storm and chilly weather forecast, to head to Newport Beach. Dave had anchored there in the past and knew it was a protected harbor, so we knew it would be a good place to wait out the storm.
We motored till we hit Long Beach and then there was enough wind to sail the remaining 25 miles into Newport. Dave used our wind steering vane (Windy) to steer the boat most of the way, but we still can’t figure out how to balance the boat properly to get Windy to steer on a consistent course. If our heading is 100 degrees, she’ll steer between 90* and 110*. Back and forth, back and forth…too much deviation. That’s probably not much to worry about if you’re crossing the Pacific, but when we’re trying to keep close to shore and be as direct as possible, it’s a problem.
Newport Beach Harbor is lined with one exquisite house after another, all with a matching yacht tied up on a private dock with a small shore boat tethered alongside. I’m stuck somewhere between “in awe” and “sickened” by the amount of wealth.
Okay, maybe also throw in some jealousy.
After our first full day and night on the anchorage, we awoke the next day (Oct 6th) to the familiar sound of Wayne and Sheila from “Way She Goes” calling good morning to us (Dave here – They actually yelled, “What’s for breakfast?!”). I rushed up to the deck and waved hello; so nice to see our friends! They hadn’t enjoyed Cat Harbor in Catalina very much due to the bad storm and also the lack of amenities. They decided to forego seeing the Avalon side of the island and both Navigo and WSG joined us in the Newport Beach anchorage for the next couple of days.
We all immediately put the dinghies in the water and headed towards the infamous “Minney’s Yacht Surplus” in Costa Mesa. Dave and I had talked to one of the boatmasters at the Newport Beach Yacht Club the first night we were in Newport who said he was a family friend of Ernie, the owner of Minney’s . He suggested we call Minney’s before we left and ask Ernie if it would be okay tying up our dinghies near his boat slip close to the store so we could cut the two mile walk down to just under a mile walk. So glad we did; not only did Ernie say it was fine to tie up at his slip, but he offered to drive us back to the slip if we bought too much to carry back.
Dave and Wayne were like kids in a candy store. I walked with the ladies and Bob down to the nearby grocery store to pick up some odds and ends and we made it back to Minney’s just as Ernie was ready to take the boys and their purchases back to the dinghies.
We had another great night on “Way She Goes” for a spaghetti feast, some dominoes (I won!!) and I also gave Bob a short music theory lesson for his new ukulele. Dave and I are very due to invite Navigo and WSG onto Camanoe for some dinner and fun. We promise we’ll get to it in Dana Point!! We’re most likely heading out tomorrow…but Dave may need another run at Minney’s to return a couple of items that aren’t going to work on the boat.
I think I’ve officially caught up the blog…now I just need to post those whale videos! Hopefully Dana Point will have better WiFi that Newport.